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How experimenting will make you surf better…

By August 19, 2012February 22nd, 2019Blog

 …”All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Experimenting with different boards does help to make you a better surfer.

My quiver of surfboards.

So many people ride the same board day in day out. Whether that’s because it’s what the Pros are riding, because it looks cool under their arm (or in the car park) or maybe just because it’s the only board they own.

Having just one board that you ride all the time is going to really limit your surfing, not only with what conditions you can surf but also how you ride the wave. Sure you can get to 12 o’clock on your shortboard, but you can’t noseride in the pocket like you can on a longboard, or get that sheer high line glide of a fish, or even get as deep in the barrel as you can on a kneeboard. And vice-verse with all of those examples.

Not only will riding a diverse range of boards allow you to see and take different lines on a wave, it will also make you a much more technical surfer. You’ll have to be more efficient at moving your weight up and down on a bigger board, or really learn how to surf on rail to get a really wide board to hold through your bottom turn.

Although 99% of the time we see the Pros riding a standard thruster, they know the value of playing around with different shapes. Check out videos of Josh Kerr on a single fin,  Rob Machado on a Alaia, Nathan Fletcher riding his ‘Mr Buzz’, and Kelly on pretty much anything from 5 fins to asymmetricals.

best surf board brands

You might be thinking, ‘well yeah that sounds great, but I don’t have the money to buy a whole new experimental quiver of surfboards, or a board sponsor’.. Well you don’t have to.

There are so many ways to get your hands and feet on something different, a lot of the time for free.

-Play around with different fin combinations. Or better yet, take the fins out completely (google Derek Hynd finless if you want to see how it’s done).

-Friends. Have a look at your friends quiver to see if anything sparks your interest. Ask to swap boards for a session or two.

-Facebook or forums, put a post out there to see if anyone is interested in meeting up and swapping. You never know what might come of it.

Bethany Hamilton ripping it up on her "customized board".

Bethany Hamilton ripping it up on her “customized board”.

-Surf Shops. You could always rent a board, or alternatively ask to try a second hand board because you ‘may want to buy it’. (An old personal favorite of mine)

-Shape a board yourself. I did, the first board I ever shaped was an asymmetrical. It was a complete experiment that turned out to be great fun, in both the process and the ride.

-It doesn’t have to be a surfboard, why not make yourself a hand plane? or jump on a bodyboard for a different ride?

Here at Peaks n’ Swells, we have access to so many boards of varying dimensions, shapes, fin set-ups and constructions. We also cover in-depth theory talks on Surfboard Design to give you the knowledge and confidence to know which board will be good for your height, weight and ability so you can get in there, any excuse, get in the water and have fun.